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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): Ask VMW: Freaking out about our overseas move!

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ask VMW: Freaking out about our overseas move!

Here is a question for the day:

"We are PCSing to Germany with the Army and I am freaking out! I am reading your blog everyday in between my kids naps. I have a few questions for you. We are told we won't have housing available so we are to find a home on the "Economy" any tips of what to look for? I have heard people say that things like toilets/cupboards are not always included? Basically what do I need to know so I don't get screwed over by a German landlord?"

Thanks for your question!  Many German homes in the American housing office system for each area, have already been "Americanized"...what I mean by that, is that many will come with kitchens (most Germans renting will put in their own), and you'll have toilets, baths etc....you may have to spring to install some light fixtures and will get Army wallockers if there are no closets (see my blogpost on the subject)...as for lights, many rooms may just have outlets and not even a connection for a light to hang...newer houses will have attachments...you'll find old and new construction.  Many new homes have electric heat...easy to manage, set and take care of but very expensive...you have to weigh the benefits/negatives of just about anything.  You'll get tips from your housing office too, and they'll make sure the contract is in order to protect you as well.  Don't go looking for an agent unless you get authorization in hand that the US govt will pay for that service...it's typically two months rent so nothing to sniff your nose at!  And the person renting pays this, not the landlord, so I caution you with "hiring" one of them if/when you get frustrated w/the housing office.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Judy said...

My husband has accepted a job w/ NATO. We're moving to the Mons area in the next month. I currently operate a business that imports Italian social stationery. Do you know if there are resources available for small business owners? I'm legal in the state of Texas...but haven't a clue how to transition into being legal in Belgium.


Thanks,
Judy

May 1, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Welcome! Or soon-to-be Welcome! Yes, rules overseas are very different. Your best bet is to stop by our on post legal office, as they will have a booklet/flyer on what's legal and what's not. The biggest problem I've seen with military spouses is that you are not allowed to use your military APO address (so your American address...see my post on the subject if you don't know what this is) for small business mail...only personal mail. This means you will need to use your local Belgian address (with higher mailing costs if getting supplies from the US). It can be done though....our many craft and vendor fairs are excellent, as is our thrift shop, Grandma's Attic for those wanting to see their wares. We even have spouses doing Longaberger, Scentsy, Pampered Chef, etc.

May 1, 2011 at 3:31 PM  
Blogger Mandie said...

i just started reading your blog and i am not sure if you all know, but AHRN.com can be used with a military email address to look for homes in the local area. I am moving to germany this week with my air force spouse and we have already picked several homes to look at when we arrive and we know just what to expect thanks to the pics and description of each home. THIS SITE IS FABULOUS...

June 1, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Glad you are so excited Mandie! I try to think back and remember those days of everything being new and exciting! YOu'll be sure to treasure it. Please report back after you arrive, so we can keep everything updated here:-) Have a safe trip!

June 2, 2011 at 9:17 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

Ooops...forgot to comment...Yes, I mentioned ahrn.com and the military address in one of my blogposts about moving:-)

http://lifelessonsmilitarywife.blogspot.com/2011/02/off-post-oconus-housing-rentals-can-be.html

That was something fairly new actually. I believe you can also access with a gov address, so any of you DODEA teachers out there should be able to use your DODEA or govt email address too.

June 2, 2011 at 9:19 AM  

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